Spicy Grilled Turkey Breast Marinade

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If you’re bored of standard barbecued meats, then kick things up a notch with this Spicy Grilled Turkey Breast Marinade. This easy marinade has a zesty heat that’s perfect on quick cooking turkey cutlets or chicken!

This post is sponsored by the Ohio Poultry Association. As always, all opinions are my own.

Grilled Turkey Breast Marinade to Spice Things Up

We love grilling season, and when you get that first summer taste of grilled burgers or perfectly striped chicken, “mmmmmm!,” there’s just nothing like it.

That is, until a few weeks (and several parties) later when the standard fare of burgers, and dogs just isn’t lighting your fire anymore.

This Spicy Grilled Turkey Breast Marinade is here to ignite your passion for grilling season once again. (See what I did there?) With its sweet golden honey, tangy lime juice, sharp garlic, and spicy chipotle peppers, this recipe delivers a flavor combo that demands your full undivided attention.

Spicy grilled turkey breast cutlet sliced and plated on a cast iron skillet.

Reasons Why You’ll Love It

  • Sweet, Spicy, and Zesty– Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, honey, and lime make a smoky sweet turkey breast marinade with a tingly warm finish that’ll leave your mouth watering for more.
  • Quick– Turkey breast cutlets are ideal for quick cooking. These thinner cutlets grill in less than 10 minutes and stay nice and juicy.
  • Versatile– These grilled turkey cutlets stand on their own, but they’re also the perfect protein for tacos, salads, quesadillas, and sandwiches. More ideas for serving are included below!

Ingredients in Turkey Breast Marinade

  • Turkey Breast Cutlets– Turkey is a great way to keep things interesting during grilling season. Turkey is a naturally low fat and lean protein choice, plus turkey breast cutlets have a beautiful richness and flavor when cooked that we know you’ll love.
  • Honey– Adds that signature sultry golden sweetness to this marinade and caramelizes nicely when grilled.
  • Lime– The perfect summer citrus to add to any marinade, lime juice pairs perfectly with most fresh herbs, seasonings and the savory fats in your oil and meat.
  • Canned Chipotle Peppers– This shortcut ingredient is the all-star of our Spicy Chicken Marinade, and it’s easy to see why. The included adobo sauce tastes like someone has taken smoky heat flavor and distilled it perfectly down into a versatile sauce. Use any leftovers in one of these chipotles in adobo recipes.
  • Garlic– It compliments the sweet, savory and spicy flavors by adding a hint of sharpness.
  • Oil and Salt– No meat marinade is complete without these staples.
Turkey breast cutlets, limes, garlic, chipotle peppers, olive oil, honey, and salt and pepper in individual bowls on a green background.

How to Make Spicy Grilled Turkey Breast Marinade

  1. Prep the turkey. Make sure your turkey breast cutlets are only about 1/2 inch thick. If you’re using ta whole turkey breast, butterfly them yourself then pound them to an even 1/2 inch thick. Always remember to use a separate cutting board and knife for handling raw meats, and wash your hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds afterward.
  2. Make the marinade. Add juice from 3 limes, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1/4 cup of honey and 3-4 chipotle peppers (with about a teaspoon full of Adobo sauce) to your blender, and blend until well combined.
  3. Marinade. Pour the marinade over the turkey in a shallow dish or ziplock bag. Make sure that the marinade is evenly poured and spread over all sides of the meat before leaving it in the refrigerator for 4-24 hours.
  4. Grill. Grill marinated turkey breasts on med-high heat (about 450°F) for 2.5-3 minutes per side until the internal temp reaches 165°F. (A meat thermometer is your best friend here).
  5. Rest. Remove turkey breasts to a plate and tent with foil until ready to serve. Top with cilantro before serving.
Grilled turkey breast cutlets in a sage green serving dish.

What to do with leftover spicy turkey breast

Store leftover turkey breast in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

These smoky sweet cutlets go well with so many dishes! I loved slicing the leftovers and tossing them with a salad or adding it to a sandwich with cheese, avocado, and tomato.

You can easily turn this garden salad or tomato corn chopped salad into a main dish with the addition of turkey cutlets. They go especially well with Ranch dressing or a creamy avocado dressing.

Add marinated turkey to a Southwest pasta salad or substitute it for ground beef in these Ground Beef Quesadillas. They’re also great on nachos!

Meat fork stabbing a marinated turkey breast cutlet.

Side dishes for Grilled Turkey Breast

We recommend pairing these spicy sweet cutlets with a refreshing side like Black Bean and Corn Salsa, Mango Salsa, or Cucumber Tomato Salad.

If you’re looking for more filling side dishes (and something to counteract the heat!), we recommend our Creamy Mac and Cheese, Corn Souffle, or Easy Cheesy Potatoes.

Cast iron skillet with sliced grilled turkey breast cutlets.


Are turkey chops the same as turkey cutlets?

Yes! Both of these refer to a thin sliced, boneless cut of turkey that cooks very quickly. It can be found in the meat section of your grocery store under either name.

Can this marinade work for a whole turkey breast?

Yes, you can definitely use this spicy marinade for a whole grilled turkey breast. However, it will take much longer to grill. You can follow these instructions for how to grill a turkey breast.

What temperature should turkey cutlets be cooked to?

All poultry, including turkey cutlets, should be cooked to 165 degrees F. We use and love this meat thermometer.

How do I make this marinade spicier or less spicy?

You can easily customize the heat in the marinade by adding more or less chipotle peppers. If you want a lot of heat, use the entire can. If you want just a teeny bit of tingle, use only the adobo sauce and no peppers.

More Easy Marinade Recipes

If you enjoyed this recipe, check out our other easy marinades!

Spicy grilled turkey breast strips on a skillet.

Spicy Grilled Turkey Breast

Honey, lime and chipotle peppers combine to make this Spicy Grilled Turkey Breast Marinade a stunning flavor-packed cookout favorite!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 314kcal


  • 1 1/2 lb turkey breast cutlets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 limes (juiced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 – 4 canned chipotle peppers in adobo (plus all the sauce))
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Cilantro (for serving (*optional))


  • In a blender, combine the olive oil, honey, lime juice, garlic cloves, chipotle peppers and sauce, salt, and black pepper. Blend until smooth.
  • Pour the marinade over the turkey breast cutlets in a ziploc bag or baking dish covered with plastic wrap. Marinade for 4-24 hours.
  • Grease the grill grates then preheat to about 450 degrees. Grill the cutlets for about 2.5-3 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees F.
  • Top with cilantro, and serve on its own or with sour cream, avocado, or mango salsa.


  • Leftovers should be stored in a shallow sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword honey chipotle marinade, spicy grilled turkey, turkey breast marinade


Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 297mg | Potassium: 60mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 22IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a review, Mention @NeighborFoodie, or tag #neighborfoodies!

June is for Turkey Lovers

Turkey is not just for Thanksgiving! June is National Turkey Lovers Month, so after you’re back from the pool, gobble up one of these delicious turkey recipes and give thanks for the hard-working farmers that work year-round to provide the safe, nutritious and high-quality turkeys that we enjoy.

In Ohio alone, turkey production is responsible for over 22,000 jobs annually and $1 billion in earnings.

To learn more about Ohio turkey farmers, and get cooking tips and nutrition information, go to OhioPoultry.org and follow OPA on on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. I made this with a turkey breast half, on the bone, from Trader Joe’s. The marinade was really good, left a nice spicy aftertaste, and I could taste the lime.
    I did mine on a charcoal grill, indirect heat. It took 2+ hours to reach 165 throughout. I also reduced the marinade a little and basted the turkey with it during the grill.

5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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